Friday, March 12, 2010

Looking for science on the Internet

So, you've got 10 minutes to spare and decide you want to watch a Youtube video.
You spend a minute searching and end up with a video about the World's Angriest Cat.
You watch it and then what? Nothing changed, no one learned anything and the damn cat is still as angry as before.

So what can you do? Searching for informative videos can be hard and finding the right video can be difficult. There's a lot of bad science on Youtube.

So to make it a bit easier for you, I'm going to give you a few links to different Youtube channel you can visit during those short breaks and see a lot of videos on various scientific topics (Ok, I'll admit, most of them are about astronomy, evolution and/or physics).


DeepAstronomy - tdarnell's channel
Tony Darnell is an 'amateur' astronomer and here you'll find a lot of very educational and interesting videos about astronomical subjects, such as 'The Size of the Universe is 78 Billion Light Years Across (at least)' and 'Life in the Universe #1: Just on Earth, or Everywhere?'.

He presents his channel like this:
'This channel is dedicated to Space Fans who love astronomy and want to learn concepts and hear about new discoveries in astronomy.

I try to present these concepts in a way that provides some perspective of the importance of astronomy in our daily lives.'

SpaceRip's channel
Still not had enough of space and astronomy? I thought so, here's another fantastic channels with loads of amazing and educational videos on space and astronomy.
With great entries such as the Cosmic Journeys series (with entries like 'How Large is the Universe?' and 'When Will Time End?').

Yea, no way I'm going to not link to this channel. Phil Plait (The Bad Astronomer) has a lot of great videos.
There's a lot of videos with 'miscellaneous' topics there, but it also features cool series like 'Astronomy questions from kids' or 'Why do black holes have such strong gravity?'.

BBC Science
The reason the title isn't a link is that BBC Science doesn't have its own channel. It is embedded into the BBC Worldwide channel and it can be hard to find.
So I've searched for BBC Science playlists for you (you can see them here).
And if you're anything like me, you'll want to see their series on black holes.

The Science Channel - BestOfScience's channel
Here you'll find a lot of great and educational videos about physics, space and astrophysics. It may sound weird and hard to get, but the videos really do explain everything fairly easy (or as easy as you can give 'A Brief History Of Quantum Mechanics' or talk about 'The Dark Matter Mystery: Stars Are Moving Too Fast'.

Instead of a description, this channel features a great quote from someone you might have heard of:
'"If we long to believe that the stars rise and set for us, that we are the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice in deflating our conceits?

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. "

- Carl Sagan (1934-1996)

Science and Reason - FFreeThinker's channel
This is another great channel, which is associated with 'The Science Channel' above, where you'll find a host of interesting videos on a lot of different scientific topics.

Final message
That's a few examples to get you started (in case you hate space, astronomy and physics this probably wasn't much help) and from here on you are on your own.
Following the related links can get you really far and you might stumble upon some really cool science channels.

I would like to end with a video you just have to see. It's called 'A Few Great Words From Great Minds' and it is just that.
Watch it and become inspired.